Oscar the Stray Gets Healthy in Pug Paradise

Thanks to a new life on a farm, the sweet senior no longer has frequent seizures.

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Sometimes we just don’t know a homeless dog’s story. Was he neglected? Abandoned? Abused?

Oscar the Pug has a mysterious past. He was found in a parking lot in Branford, Connecticut, with another Pug named Rosie following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

After a stint in a local shelter, the two senior Pugs were pulled by Curly Tail Pug Rescue and sent to live with foster mom Lori Swett. Little did these two dogs know it, but they were about to find themselves in Pug paradise. You see, Lori has been rescuing Pugs for 15 years and even founded her very own Pug farm — a safe haven for homeless Pugs in the northwest hills of Connecticut. A Pug couldn’t ask to end up in a better place than this.

Getting back to Oscar. This poor guy was in pretty rough shape when Lori got him. At some point in his life, the Pug had suffered severe head trauma. From what, who knows? But his skull is misshapen, he is blind in one eye, somewhat deaf, and has some neurological problems. An X-ray showed evidence of a broken jaw, and his tongue hangs permanently out one side of his mouth. Poor, sweet Oscar!

Oscar after being found. (Photo courtesy Curly Tail Rescue)
Oscar after being found. (Photo courtesy Curly Tail Pug Rescue)

The worst problem for Oscar was uncontrolled, grand mal and cluster seizures. The vets believe the seizures are a result of the head trauma Oscar sustained at some point in his life.

Lori thinks Oscar might have been abused. “Any time I would raise my hand above his head, he cowered as if preparing to take a blow,” she said. “It shatters my heart into a million pieces to think anyone could harm any dog, but especially a dog as gentle, sweet, and loving as Oscar.”

It’s clear Oscar has suffered. But all that’s over now. Thanks to Lori, Oscar never has to be afraid or alone again. You see, Oscar is what we call a “foster failure” — Lori adopted him, and his pal Rosie, too! These dear Pugs now live the good life on the Pug farm. (Seriously, could anything be more amazing than a rescue Pug farm?)

“Because of Oscar’s age and all of his issues, he wasn’t an easy dog to place,” Lori said. “To see how Rosie takes care of him when he’s having his seizures and stays quietly by his side, and how he looks to her for guidance, I knew I couldn’t separate them.”

Rosie, from left, Moxie, and Oscar. (Photo courtesy Petcha Photography)
Rosie, from left, Moxie, and Oscar. (Photo courtesy Petcha Photography)

Oscar gets only the best medical treatment now. He has a team of doctors (Western, Eastern, and many specialists), and as a result of lots of trial and error with different medications, herbs, supplements, and diet changes, Lori is happy to report that his seizures are finally under control.

“Now that Oscar is stable, he can get on with the important business of enjoying life as a spoiled Pug!” Lori said. “It took a year and a half, but Oscar finally learned to trust humans, and now he no longer cowers when I raise my hand.”

One of his new friends on the Pug farm is Moxie, a one-eyed rescue Pug who alerts Lori to Oscar’s seizures. “A few minutes before they begin, she will go over to him and press her nose very intently to his head and sniff deeply and purposely. She does the same thing to me whenever I have bad migraines, so she definitely senses these things.”

Despite his fragile health, Lori says that Oscar is the king of the Pug farm. “He is the one who demands the most attention, the most belly rubs, the most cuddling, the most food, and I happily oblige,” she said.

Lori Swett and Oscar. (Photo courtesy Petcha Photography)
Lori Swett and Oscar. (Photo courtesy Petcha Photography)

Three years have passed since the Pug was found in a parking lot, and now he’s living a life of luxury. Oscar enjoys home-cooked meals, healthy snacks and treats, a warm spot in bed or on the couch with Lori, and snuggling by the fireplace or in his favorite sunny spot by the window.

“Everyone who meets Oscar instantly loves him because he’s an amazing creature,” Lori said. “Each of my Pugs has taught me valuable life lessons. From Oscar, I’ve learned patience and perseverance from having worked so hard trying to get his seizures under control. He has taught me that love is constant, love is fluid, and most importantly, love is the key to all healing.”

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Jackie Brown

Jackie is a freelance writer specializing in the pet industry. She lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and adorable Miniature Poodle, Jäger, who is obsessed with fetch and killing all the toys. She is the former editor of Rescue Proud, Dog World, and Puppies 101. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.

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